Many people forget that Starfleet demoted
Kirk. Although he himself was happy about it, it was a major punishment. It's not like Starfleet rewarded him like many people always say. The only reward was that the rest of the charges were dropped.
In Star Trek, saving the world has never been a career booster. Picard and Riker saved Earth from the Borg, what happened? Nothing. Kirk saved Earth from V'Ger, and nothing happened. He grew old and grim, unhappy about his career. And then he saved Earth from the Whale probe, and they demoted him and gave him a ship that wasn't fully functional. Sisko saved the Federation a couple of times, too, and he wasn't turned into a superhero either.
I blame Voyager/Nemesis and the new movie. Janeway didn't achieve jackshit and became Admiral. Cadet Kirk essentially only stopped a terrorist and got promoted to Captain and got command of the flagship. By the these movie's logic, Picard, Kirk, Sisko, Riker & Co would have been elected to Federation Presidents or Masters of the Universe long ago.